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Manchin Says He’ll Block EPA Nominees Over Power Plant Rules

Sen. Joe Manchin and Bill Gates, both wearing yellow hard hats, toured the closed Kanawha River power plant in Glasgow. Both are seen in a space with some old, decommissioned power plant machinery.
Sen. Joe Manchin with Bill Gates.
Sen. Manchin's Office

Ahead of the rollout of new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency limits of carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin says he will block every EPA nominee.

The new rules, which the EPA will announce on Thursday, are expected to be tough on coal-burning power plants, especially. They’re also expected to apply to new natural gas power plants.

Manchin says he opposes any effort to remove coal from the grid over reliability concerns. 

“We will do everything we can to make sure they do not jeopardize the grid system, the reliability of the power this country needs,” he said Wednesday.

The U.S. power sector was already trending away from coal. While it produced nearly half the nation’s power 20 years ago, it has fallen to less than 20 percent in the first quarter of the year.

Natural gas has mostly taken coal’s place, but renewables account for an increasing share.